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Marathon Mandy consistently defying the odds

A keen triathlete from Pembrokeshire is defying the odds by continuing her goal of attempting 100 marathons.

Mandy Draper from Pembroke nearly lost her life in 2016 after a serious accident whilst cycling home from work. Mandy recalls the traumatic experience, “Luckily for me, it all happened so quickly. All I remember is that car coming towards me.”

Mandy was airlifted from the scene of the accident to Morriston Hospital, Swansea where she was placed in a coma due to the extent of her injuries.

“I was airlifted to Morriston Hospital where it was discovered I had sustained a head injury, a punctured lung, nearly all my ribs were broken, and my wrist was badly broken too. On top of that, the handlebars of my bike had pierced my thigh, narrowly missing the main artery.”

Despite the odds of survival stacked against her and doctors doubting she may ever walk again, Mandy turned a corner and made a remarkable recovery. 

Since leaving hospital Mandy has completed several marathons including the Lanzarote and Birmingham Marathons. More notably recently, Mandy completed the Swansea Half Marathon whilst wearing a Helicopter Flight Suit and Helmet, raising over £100 for Wales Air Ambulance.

Mandy added: “I knew I wanted to tackle the Swansea Half as it’s always had great reviews. I wanted to do it though to not only raise money but also raise awareness of Wales Air Ambulance. The team at Dafen kindly lent me an old flight-suit and helmet which I then ran the whole course wearing.”

“It was a difficult but rewarding challenge and I’m so glad I did it. I will always be grateful to Wales Air Ambulance for coming to my aid in my hour of need.

Mandy shows no sign of slowing down with her sights firmly set on the Tenby Marathon and a whole swathe of other running challenges throughout the summer.

Mandy added: “I am very much looking forward to tackling the Tenby marathon in the flight suit and helmet again. I hope people will support me on the day and spare any loose change to help raise money for Wales Air Ambulance.”

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